AuthorLRIRE

Bound by Law, Freed by Solidarity: Navigating California Prisons and Universities as a Jailhouse Lawyer

Abstract For jailhouse lawyers, winning a lawsuit seems like a victory, but there are multiple barriers to practicing law post-incarceration. Building on personal experiences, this Essay focuses on the deterrents to legal education in prison and post-incarceration for jailhouse lawyers. Through an examination of structural obstacles that keep formerly incarcerated people out of the legal...

Challenging Gladiator Fights in the CDCR

Abstract The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has a long history of placing people in long-term isolation in response to suspected or confirmed gang membership or affiliation.  Despite being forced to stop the practice of  indefinite solitary confinement, CDCR continued other arguably unconstitutional practices in response to gang activity.  At Pleasant Valley State...

To Act Like a Democracy

Abstract Today, 5.2 million Americans are kept from voting because of felony disenfranchisement laws.  African Americans are disproportionately affected by these laws.  There has been a wave of reforms in recent years, restoring the right to vote to formerly disenfranchised persons.  This Essay discusses the reasons the franchise should be expanded, both because it leads to lower recidivism rates...

Jailhouse Lawyering From the Beginning

Abstract Jailhouse lawyering is a form of resistance against the prison industrial complex that seeks to silence and disappear prisoners.  This Essay describes the author’s acts of resistance, or growth as a jailhouse lawyer, from arrest to imprisonment using critical race theory and abolition theory.  While it tells one person’s stories, it is both shaped by those who taught him and the...

Making Bricks Without Straw: Legal Training for Female Jailhouse Lawyers in the Louisiana Penal System

Abstract Overt gender discrimination, and the combined failure of Louisiana’s Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPSC) and Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women (LCIW) prison officials to provide offender counsel substitutes in prisons for women (OCS-W) the same quality legal education and training as provided for those incarcerated in prisons for men, are violations of the...

An Old Lawyer Learns New Tricks: A Memoir

Abstract In this reflection, James Bottomley shares his experience as a formerly barred attorney who is now incarcerated in a California state prison.  Bottomley has practiced as a jailhouse lawyer for himself and other incarcerated people in recent years but is now retired from the practice of law. Introduction When I was in jail, depressed that my next destination was the California state...

The Soft-Shoe and Shuffle of Law School Hiring Committee Practices

“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.”[1] –Ida B. Wells Abstract It is in the spirit of Ida B. Wells that we seek to turn the light upon the systemic racism of hiring practices.[2]  We believe these practices are indicators of the systemic failures on campuses and in workplaces that prevent them from being antiracist.  We seek to use this Essay as a “tool for exposing...